Ducks in the Crosshairs
By Jonathan Miller
Duck hunters of the world, rejoice. In September, a bill that would extend duck-hunting season in the U.S. passed the House.
The bill (HR 6013) would allow the secretary of the Interior to designate Jan. 31 as the final date for the hunting of ducks, mergansers and coots — all waterfowl. The final date for hunting season has been the last Sunday in January.
The legislation awaits action in the Senate — an identical bill (S 2942) was introduced by GOP Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith of Mississippi, which, incidentally, is her first-authored piece of legislation. According to ducks.org, a site devoted to all things aquatic bird-related, the Mississippi Delta has a “rich waterfowl hunting tradition.”
Its peak season is from December to January, when migratory birds typically arrive.
In introducing the bill in May, Hyde-Smith cited the economic benefits of extending the season, but also called it a victory for “states’ rights” as well as a gesture toward “those who defend our country.”
Under the bill, the Interior secretary could allow states to select two additional hunting days for youth and two days for veterans and those on active military duty.